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Speaking at the opening of the International Atomic Energy Agency's 65th annual general conference, IAEA Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi stated that North Korea's nuclear development is proceeding 'full steam ahead'.

  • The comments come a week after a heightening of tensions on the Korean peninsula, with the North testing two ballistic missiles that landed in the Sea of Japan. This was followed hours later by a test from the South, which tested its first submarine-launched ballistic missile.
  • Last week, China and South Korea's gov'ts met to discuss North Korea's nuclear programme.
  • The pandemic appears to have hit North Korea hard, with trade cut off with China in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 hitting the DPRK's already-stretched food supplies. This domestic uncertainty could translate into a more aggressive North Korean gov't on the international stage as it looks for an easing of sanctions.